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Arabic press review: Haftar splashing millions on US real estate

Meanwhile, Nasrallah is rumoured to relocate to Tehran, and Egyptian human rights activists pressure Macron to hold Sisi to account
Khalifa Haftar at his desk in Benghazi (AFP)

Libya's Haftar owns real estate worth millions in US

Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar owns real estate assets worth millions of dollars in the United States, reported the Arabic language service of Anadolu Agency.

Haftar fell out with Muammar Gaddafi in the late 1980s and lived in Virginia, before returning to Libya during the 2011 revolution.

He has bought 17 properties registered in his name in the US state, using funds he smuggled out of Libya, according to the agency's sources.

Among Haftar's assets in Virginia is a home and a farm in Falls Church. He also paid $8m in cash to purchase one of the other alleged assets and a 5,600 sq m house worth $2.5m in Great Falls, Montana.

Last July, Haftar bought a horse farm worth $700,000 in Boise City, Oklahoma, said Anadolu Agency.

Nasrallah plans to move to Iran soon

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida quoted an "informed source" as saying that Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, plans to move to Iran and may already have done so. 

The source said “the Lebanese intelligence services and neighbouring countries have intercepted contacts between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah following the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh". 

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The source expected that "Nasrallah will remain in Tehran for an indefinite period, as there is no clear date for his return to Lebanon”, according to the newspaper.

Nasrallah’s decision reportedly came after the killing of Fakhrizadeh last Friday, east of Tehran, and as more Israeli warplanes have been seen flying over Beirut and other Lebanese governorates during the past few days.

Earlier this month, Nasrallah said that Iran's allies in the region should be on high alert.

Egyptian activists call on France to pressure Sisi

In a joint statement, 17 human rights organisations called on French President Emmanuel Macron to put pressure on his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to stop violations in Egypt, ahead of his upcoming visit to Paris on 7 December.

The organisations urged France to press for the release of arbitrarily detained activists and human rights campaigners in Egypt, reported Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

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The statement said that Sisi is expected to arrive in Paris for a two-day visit, just three weeks after the Egyptian security services launched a campaign to repress the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), one of the last independent human rights organisations operating in the country. 

The statement added: "It seems that the arrests came as part of the regime’s retaliation plan against the organisation following a meeting with a number of foreign diplomats, including the French diplomatic mission in Cairo in early November last year.”

Egyptian authorities have also arbitrarily detained Ramy Shaath, a prominent Egyptian-Palestinian human rights advocate who is married to a French citizen, for more than a year without trial. 

French diplomacy has been widely criticised for being lenient with Sisi's ruthless repression of all forms of dissidence in the country, said the newspaper. 

The statement indicated that Macron has always justified his support for Sisi as a partner in the regional war on terrorism. However, Egypt’s ruling regime has clearly demonstrated its deliberate misuse of anti-terrorism legislation with the aim of eliminating legitimate human rights efforts and eradicating peaceful opposition. 

Kuwait: 10 years in jail for violating quarantine 

Kuwait will hold National Assembly elections on Saturday with the participation of 326 candidates, under strict regulations, the most prominent of which are penalties amounting to 10 years’ imprisonment for any voter who breaches the quarantine procedures while being infected with coronavirus, reported Al-Qabas newspaper.

Sources at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health said severe penalties will be imposed on voters who violate the quarantine regulations, with the threat of 10 years' imprisonment and a 30,000 dinar fine ($97,500), according to the newspaper.

On Saturday, Kuwaitis will vote to select 50 MPs, who will oversee the government's performance and enact laws for the next four years.

Over 300 candidates are competing for parliamentary seats, including just 29 women, while the number of eligible voters in Kuwait is 567,000. 

Kuwait is the only country among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to have a majority elected parliament.

Jordan investigates sale of property in Jerusalem

Jordanian authorities are investigating a case of fraud and embezzlement of millions of dinars in the governorate of Zarqa, in connection with the sale of land in Jerusalem to a non-Arab, reported Ammon News.

Jordanian sources said that the main defendant in the case has forged the death certificate of the land owner and the heirs’ identification cards to sign a selling contract in the presence of a real estate broker in the Jordanian city of Zarqa, according to the news website.

When the relevant Palestinian authorities validated the contract, it turned out that the owner of the land is still alive and the papers and identity documents were fake, which led to the sale agreement being annulled.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye